Easy Chef Lessons
Chef Lesson: Create Dinner-Party Drama
When Michael Chiarello of Napa Valley's Bottega entertains friends, he loves serving simple foods in dramatic ways—for instance, grilling one giant burger instead of six individual ones. Here’s how to do it: Form two 2-pound patties and stuff them with cheese and onions that have been sautéed in wine. Grill the patties and set them on a round, hollowed-out loaf of bread (such as a levain). Cut the burgers into six wedges and serve with a platter of condiments.
Chef Lesson: Cook with Beer
Richard Blais explores his British roots at his new Atlanta restaurant, The Spence. Lemon curd and malt liquor—both British in origin—are the surprise ingredients in his stellar chicken wings.
Chef Lesson: Seasoning Secret
“I like to use soy sauce in pizza dough and burgers,” says chef Tim Cushman of Boston’s O Ya. “It fills in flavor holes that salt doesn’t.”
Chef Lesson: Power of Mustard
“I want to drop Dijon mustard into everything,” says Alex Guarnaschelli, host of TV’s Alex’s Day Off. “It has tremendous acidity and richness, and it’s a natural thickener. Plus it’s so flavorful: It’s that SWAT team to the rescue.”
Chef Lesson: The Best Pasta for $4 a Serving
“The $24 spaghetti from Scott Conant’s Scarpetta in NYC is so delicious,” says Roy Choi of L.A.’s Kogi empire. “My $4 version tastes almost as good.” Roy’s trick: flavoring tomato sauce with a quick mushroom broth and slow-cooked garlic.